Hello, today I have been painting an archway in my flat. I am always drawn to arches and it was looking a bit bleak so I decided to get the Annie Sloan chalk paint out and start letting my creativity flow from my subconscious.
I put my music on as loud as I can get away with and do a sort of doodle-dance with my body and the paint brush- making marks as I go. There is a peace I find while painting. Nothing much can go wrong, many years ago I learned how to make a mistake into a modification. A ‘mistake’ often becomes a streamlet of unexpected inspiration that I would not have drifted down if my mishap had not occurred. Sometimes I can not always pull a blunder ‘off’ so to speak and it looks a little dodgy, but I have come to realise that mistakes are part and parcel of life and I just have to ride it… Wither it be art or my life!
“To banish imperfection is to destroy expression, to check exertion, to paralyze vitality.” John Ruskin, The Stones of Venice
I love facilitating art for children. Even just observing how children interact with materials is a valuable time in which I learn new things. I also witness the children problem solving alongside bounteous creativity. When I plonk my art box in the studio it very often looks as though we have ‘opened sesame’. The children eagerly root about with clenched fits as they collect all sorts of artistic treasures they want to use for their art work. So far, I have found most children have the ability to create art without fear of making mistakes. I let the children know that ‘playing’ with the materials is OK. On the whole they just jump right in, have a go. During the creative process trial and error becomes a natural part of the creating and thus the more enthused the children become.
However I have come across one or two children that really fear making a wrong move. It can be really difficult for them even just to choose a material, in case its not quite right. This is where I find my self reassuring the child and asking them what they think is the worst that can happen if they do make a ‘mistake’?…
This is a good conversation to have and often I am reminded that some children link the studio space with a school environment and worry they will be ‘marked’ or laughed at if they do something ‘wrong’. After talking about the worries a child is having they begin to understand there is nothing to fear and that my art class is not like school. Slowly but surely they begin to join in- embracing an hour of pure creative play.
I try to avoid telling children exactly what material they should use and I do my best not to give strict instructions about what they make. This is a great opportunity for each child to gain ownership over the art they create! Watching a child grow in confidence with the art materials is like watching a dried out coral soaking up all the moisture it can muster from the air in order to begin a seconded life as it jumps back into the reef, suddenly it takes back all the vibrancy it once had.
I encourage children in my art workshops to ‘make mistakes’ in the hope it will empower children to engage more in imaginative play/art. I also do it because I believe we all need to learn that making mistakes in life is inevitable and having the ability to survive mistakes in life takes courage and lots of creativity!
Please feel free to share you thoughts about being creative or the beauty of playing and the positivity that can come from making mistakes.
Thank you for reading this weeks post. I am going away on holiday for a few weeks now so I expect my posts will be a little sporadic and in the form of a picture diary.